CarAdvice has previously shown how the new model could look courtesy of a computer-generated image, and based on these new shots it's clear there are some common elements, including the upright slatted grille, sharply styled headlights and bold new front bumper with large fog-lights. The front-end looks considerably more modern and car-like than the current ute, with some elements reminiscent of the Kluger SUV.
The new model appears notably larger than the current-generation HiLux, with a longer, wider tray to match or better those seen in the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50, not to mention the Amarok. It is expected to be offered in the same bodystyles as the seventh-generation model, with single-, space- and dual-cab variants matched to either cab-chassis or pick-up rear ends.
No engine details are available, but the new model may carry over its four-cylinder and V6 petrol engines, while the popular 3.0-litre turbo diesel likely to be retained, albeit with improvements to its fuel economy and refinement. A smaller 2.5-litre turbo diesel may also be offered.
A hybrid version isn’t out of the question – the company offers a petrol-electric version of its Kluger SUV in the States, and has also toyed with the idea of the hybrid pick-up in concept guise. If Toyota were to offer a hybrid ute, its launch could coincide with Mitsubishi’s plans for its new-generation Triton ute that is expected to be offered in petrol-electric guise by 2016.
The new-generation Toyota HiLux ute could be revealed late in 2014 or early in 2015, and may be on sale locally next year. Stay tuned for more.